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Northwestern Michigan College Adds Surveying Program  

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Wendell
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Appropriately-named Traverse City, Michigan's Northwestern Michigan College now offers a Surveying Engineering program. The new degree was approved unanimously by the NMC Board of Trustees on Monday, December 17, 2018 and will be in place for the fall 2019 semester.

The surveying degree is complemented by existing marine technology and unmanned aerial systems programs. The college is now able to offer students degrees in all three programs, which is apparently unique among community colleges across the country.

For more information, view the full announcement at the Traverse City Record Eagle's website.

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My son just graduated from there, BS, Marine Technology (also unusual to find BS available at community college).  Out to sea next month with Fugro job surveying for offshore wind farms.  Some growing pains with new programs, but overall we highly recommend.

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Paul in PA
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The college website has not yet been updated.

It is interesting to note that this is an Associate Degree program and Michigan requires a bachelors with 30 surveying credits, plus 4 years experience for licensing. At the same time one can apply directly to NCEES to take the PLS exam (the MI PLS part not being administered by NCEES) prior to applying to the State of Michigan.Therefore one could be degreed and fully tested and not be approved for licensing.

It is interesting to note they have Marine and Maritime associates programs.

Paul in PA

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Posted by: Paul in PA

The college website has not yet been updated.

It is interesting to note that this is an Associate Degree program and Michigan requires a bachelors with 30 surveying credits, plus 4 years experience for licensing. At the same time one can apply directly to NCEES to take the PLS exam (the MI PLS part not being administered by NCEES) prior to applying to the State of Michigan.Therefore one could be degreed and fully tested and not be approved for licensing.

It is interesting to note they have Marine and Maritime associates programs.

Paul in PA

It's currently under Professional development link:

https://www.nmc.edu/marine-center/index.html

 

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Just A. Surveyor
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This is good news.

I am an advocate for Associate Degree programs at the community college level. We need more people involved in surveying and it is not gonna come via a 4 year degree. I am fully aware that some states mandate a 4 year degree and that is fine if they choose to do that. I do feel like it is slamming the door on a lot of good people. I am of the opinion that the pay is not there in surveying to justify a spending a small fortune obtaining a BS. Unless and until surveyors charge more in order to pay more I cannot see much demand for a 4 Year surveying degree. Georgia went through this a few years ago and all the people in the state who are "somebodies" (the influential people) was wringing their hands in anguish wailing and gnashing their teeth about the need to have a mandated 4 year degree because Florida, South Carolina and Alabama required it. Now they are relaxing the standards because the numbers of candidates applying to take the test has cratered. I have heard similar stories from those other states as well that their numbers have fallen and talk of them lowering the standards. Pay them and they will come.

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Posted by: Just A. Surveyor

This is good news.

I am an advocate for Associate Degree programs at the community college level. We need more people involved in surveying and it is not gonna come via a 4 year degree. I am fully aware that some states mandate a 4 year degree and that is fine if they choose to do that. I do feel like it is slamming the door on a lot of good people. I am of the opinion that the pay is not there in surveying to justify a spending a small fortune obtaining a BS. Unless and until surveyors charge more in order to pay more I cannot see much demand for a 4 Year surveying degree. Georgia went through this a few years ago and all the people in the state who are "somebodies" (the influential people) was wringing their hands in anguish wailing and gnashing their teeth about the need to have a mandated 4 year degree because Florida, South Carolina and Alabama required it. Now they are relaxing the standards because the numbers of candidates applying to take the test has cratered. I have heard similar stories from those other states as well that their numbers have fallen and talk of them lowering the standards. Pay them and they will come.

Except salaries have not increased under the no degree or associate degree requirements.  It's possible that in a world with BS degree requirements for licensure the associate degree tech. would make as much or more than a current Licensed surveyor, and a Licensed surveyor would make as much as other professionals who have well educated technicians helping them.  Just seems like getting more people licensed by having lower standards has not helped salaries of anyone in the business.  Whichever direction it takes, I wish licensing boards could pick one or the other so the license would be more easily transferred state to state. 

The NMC program has a partnership with a Michigan university that offers a BS in surveying so I'm sure there will be a transfer option for those that wish to get licensed in MI.  Some of their surveying students and faculty were already involved in courses at NMC.  A great way to get the first two years at a bit lower cost.

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We're having problems getting kids in to Surveying programs in western NC. AB Tech in Asheville has no second year cohort this year and has seen an over all enrollment decline in both Civil Engineering Tech and Surveying.

 

Many states have seen license application decline. I used to live in Ohio and from 1993, when the BS requirement went into effect, and 2003, when I asked how many candidates too the test, the numbers had cratered from about 150 to about 27 (not sure those are the exact numbers, but they're close), and it's getting hard to find a Surveyor at any price. As the Boomers pass, the problem will worsen. From what I understand, SC awarded 1 new license last year.

 

When I obtained my NC License in 2005, there weren't 30 people in the room taking the test (I took the same state specific exam required of in state candidates), and over a third of them were from out of state. Two of them were men I had met while I was an Ohio County Engineer.

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Posted by: RichardLHardison

We're having problems getting kids in to Surveying programs in western NC. AB Tech in Asheville has no second year cohort this year and has seen an over all enrollment decline in both Civil Engineering Tech and Surveying.

 

Many states have seen license application decline. I used to live in Ohio and from 1993, when the BS requirement went into effect, and 2003, when I asked how many candidates too the test, the numbers had cratered from about 150 to about 27 (not sure those are the exact numbers, but they're close), and it's getting hard to find a Surveyor at any price. As the Boomers pass, the problem will worsen. From what I understand, SC awarded 1 new license last year.

 

When I obtained my NC License in 2005, there weren't 30 people in the room taking the test (I took the same state specific exam required of in state candidates), and over a third of them were from out of state. Two of them were men I had met while I was an Ohio County Engineer.

Richard, I have heard much of the same as it pertains to declining numbers and it no surprise and only a damned idiot could not have seen that would be the case when these states enacted 4 year degree requirements. But most were blind to the reality.

I am not opposed to a 4 year degree as a means to registration. I am however vehemently opposed to a 4 year degree as the only path to registration.

These states that went down that road of misguided fealty to academics being the path to professionalism are now many years later reaping what they have so stupidly sown. 

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Paul in PA
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Thank you Duane,

I believe they have miss-stated their program, it is not "Professional Development" but is "Technical Development" which is a good use for community college level program. Below I have listed the 10 topics they have highlighted. Assuming each is a 3 credit courses, that would be 30 credits meeting the Michigan PLS exam requirements, yet I think that a graduate of this program is far from ready to be a PLS and what is required would not neccessarily be gained with 4 years experience. All these courses are technical in subject, the true professional has to be well rounded and requires Geodesy and Legal Aspects ability. Michigan is a Public Lands state, yet that too is not included.  

SURVEYING

  • Fundamentals of Land Surveying
  • Conventional Surveying Techniques
  • GNSS Positioning Techniques (Operations & Datums)
  • Surveying Data Processing, Adjustments and Imaging
  • Route Surveying (Roads, Rails, Bridges)
  • Pipeline Surveying (Manifests, Tally, Cataloging Observations)
  • Precision Leveling & Integration of Surveying Measurements
  • Boundary Surveying for the New Surveyor
  • Forensic Mapping for Law Enforcement
  • High Definition Scanning

What it is is a darn good start on getting individuals on a professional career path.

It would be good to see what all courses are transferable to Ferris State or Michigan Tech's 4 year programs.

Paul in PA

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Posted by: Paul in PA

Thank you Duane,

I believe they have miss-stated their program, it is not "Professional Development" but is "Technical Development" which is a good use for community college level program. Below I have listed the 10 topics they have highlighted. Assuming each is a 3 credit courses, that would be 30 credits meeting the Michigan PLS exam requirements, yet I think that a graduate of this program is far from ready to be a PLS and what is required would not neccessarily be gained with 4 years experience. All these courses are technical in subject, the true professional has to be well rounded and requires Geodesy and Legal Aspects ability. Michigan is a Public Lands state, yet that too is not included.  

SURVEYING

  • Fundamentals of Land Surveying
  • Conventional Surveying Techniques
  • GNSS Positioning Techniques (Operations & Datums)
  • Surveying Data Processing, Adjustments and Imaging
  • Route Surveying (Roads, Rails, Bridges)
  • Pipeline Surveying (Manifests, Tally, Cataloging Observations)
  • Precision Leveling & Integration of Surveying Measurements
  • Boundary Surveying for the New Surveyor
  • Forensic Mapping for Law Enforcement
  • High Definition Scanning

What it is is a darn good start on getting individuals on a professional career path.

It would be good to see what all courses are transferable to Ferris State or Michigan Tech's 4 year programs.

Paul in PA

Well, there's more than meets the eye.  I think this is a great associate degree line up under the current rules.  Fact is, NCEES, ABET, Regional accreditation agencies moved to ensure that associate programs were strictly technician in nature.  Not a problem in MI because of BS requirement.  They can use the 30 surveying credits but will still need a bachelor degree of some kind, theoretically including professional preparation courses.  In NY it was a problem because there is no degree requirement.  So, I felt we needed 2 course sequence in land boundaries in the associate degree and geodesy in order to turn out graduates that would have a legitimate education toward licensure above what non-degreed individuals have.  I lost the argument and sort of quit in protest.

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